Post Trade Deadline Thoughts

The first trade deadline has passed and the Cubs are likely done making any major moves. The waiver wire trades are a different beast entirely and they are usually reserved for minor moves (emphasis on usually). There will be a desire to attach a grade to the Cubs in season moves right now that we have passed one deadline and are in the stretch run of the 2014 season. Truth be told, the Cubs moves are too early in their infancy to really grade out; their value to the Cubs’ franchise will be determined over a course of 3-5 years since their intentions for making those moves took the long view into account.

We can, however, examine the thought process behind the moves and see where the Cubs are now in terms of the seller vs. buyer timeline.

  • The Emilio Bonifacio-Jeff Russell trade for Victor Caratini is a gamble on a kid sticking at catcher long enough to provide depth at the position. I’ve heard mixed reports on him, hopefully he’ll land at Kane and I can put eyes on him. We all know what Bonifacio and Jeff Russell are; El Boni had a lot of value off the field as I’d heard he was a true professional who was brought in to teach the kids about life in the majors. He was a leader and created the “Lo Viste” trend on this team. He’ll be especially missed off the field. Russell on the other hand is a lefty with reverse platoon splits so it’s difficult to assess what the Braves thought they were getting here.
  • Felix Doubront is a lottery ticket. The comparison to Jake Arrieta is extreme because it assumes that he will be fixed in a similar fashion. We have to remember that Arrieta’s case is rare and it’s very likely Doubront doesn’t work out.
  • Getting a minor league asset, even if it’s a tweener guy like Jonathan Martinez, for Darwin Barney is difficult to pull off. That the Cubs got value here for just the one player is impressive.
  • Moving Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel for Addison Russell, Billy McKinney, Dan Straily and a PTBNL seemed like it should move the Cubs timeline back. The Cubs have a glut of shortstop prospects and they aren’t stocked with top tier pitching prospects. I didn’t think it was a major step backwards as the Cubs added a top ten prospect in baseball for a good pitcher in Samardzija and a rental type having a good year in Hammel. Addison Russell can play and all the bats in the system are equity at this point. I’m starting to come around to the belief that starting pitching can be found on the FA market and will be available via trade.

The Cubs have mentioned their intentions to no longer be sellers next year; at least not obvious ones. With Baez and Bryant knocking on the door and Alcántara already here it’s looking like 2015 could be a surprising one pending the moves they make this offseason.

There are cookies on the horizon, folks.


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  • I like cookies,..... but can wait for them quite happily if they are really good ones,....


  • These were gambles, but I think in the long run worth it. Let's
    that in August they can make a least one waiver trade

  • Dourbont put up a 2.8 WAR in 162 innings last year. That puts him right between Samardzija's 2012 and 2013 seasons (2.9 and 2.7 respectively). If he can just get back to that, isn't that a really valuable piece to get for a PTBNL? Why has he struggled so much this year compared to his previous 2 seasons?

  • With rookies Baez, Bryant and Soler added to Alcantara in a lineup that already has Castro and Rizzo and you're looking at a much more interesting season in 2015. Add a couple of free-agent pitchers this Winter to Arrieta (and Hendricks and Wood) and our bullpen and this will already be an over-.500 team in a tough Central Division. And it just keeps getting better from there.

  • In reply to TheThinBlueLine:

    I'd be legitimately excited if our rotation next year was


    Also wonder if the Cubs will go after Maeda who will have just turned 27 at the start of next season.

  • In reply to Ike03:

    I'd like to see them go for Maeda as an inroad to the younger Japanese studs. If he came along and did well and we signed Lester, I think Wood should be the one traded.

    Regardless, EJax will be there unless he is traded, which I doubt. EJax, at his normal performance, is a decent #3, good #4, so that would even be better.

  • In reply to TheThinBlueLine:

    Very well put. My sentiments exactly.

    2015 - Interesting. Developing.
    Strong foundation.
    2016 - Competitive and maybe more.
    2017 - Consistently one of the best teams in MLB.

  • So, now that we're into the waiver trade period, how busy do you guys expect the Cubs to be? Do you expect any large transactions or a couple of smaller ones? Also, If Cole Hammels were made available by the Phillies on waivers, do you think the Cubs would take a shot at acquiring him? (Not overpaying for him, but at least making an inquiry).

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    In reply to Henry Loose:

    The Phillies wanted Seager, Joc, AND Urias from LA.

    I have no interest.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    Right, but that was before the trade deadline in which the Phillies did exactly nothing. Before Lee had his elbow blow out. Amaro may be looking to salvage at least something from this deadline and he may have to lower his price. The Cubs could also take on all of Hammels' contract to give the Phillies some payroll flexibility and reduce the price of prospects we may have to give up. Besides, Seager, Joc, and Urias would not be ranked the same if they were in our system. So we could probably have to pay in prospects from lower in the top 10 than LA would.

    I agree that if the Phillies ask for the moon, they should get nothing. Maybe we could send them a subscription to whatever channel the Cubs end up on after WGN, so at the very least they can watch our top prospects make it to the show... just not for them.

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    In reply to Henry Loose:

    I think Amaro is trying harder to rebuild than to save money. They have several huge contracts that are simply impossible to move, so it's bit like they're going to have a reasonable payroll anytime soon.

    Hamels is pitching very well right now and under contract so there's little reason to make a panic move.

  • Lots to be excited about for next year... but can anybody tell me the last time a team made the post season with basically 4 rookies (Soler, Bryant, Baez, Alcatara) as everyday players?

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Probably in the late 1800's. If not ...there's always a first time.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Good question, but when was the last time a team had 4 rookies the likes of Soler, Bryant, Baez and Alcantara? Oh boy!

  • In reply to TTP:

    Los tres amigos +1

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Probably has happend at some point HD - but my guess it is a danged rare thing.

    IF the starting lineup by say June typically has Soler, Bryant, Baez and Alcantara along with Castro, Rizzo, Castillo + Ruggiano/Coghlin and a bench with Valbuena, Vailiaka (sp), Olt, and Sweeney,.... it's something that could happen IF the pitching is good enough.

    But - it would be unusual. Better chance once most of those guys have 400-500 PAs under their belts in the bigs would be my guess.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Will Alcantara still have rookie status? I doubt it.

  • In reply to TheMightyGin:

    Probably not. He has to have 130 AB's to lose rookie status for next year. ESPN is projecting him with 114 AB's on the season. Though IDK where they get that from because he already has 75 AB's ytd.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    The 89 Cubs had Walton, Smith and Girardi/Wrona starting for the majority of the season. And Grace was a second year player.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    1975 Red Sox had Fred Lynn and Jim Rice as OF starters. Montreal would likely had made the 94 playoffs with 3 rookie starters. Only ones I can think of .

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    I don't expect the Cubs to make the post season next year.

    I think they will compete for it, but so will St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and Milwaukee.

    If they are up in the middle of them next year, with good showings from a couple of the rookies, I will be satisfied. I don't think it will be impossible for them to make the playoffs, but it will take a certain amount of luck, along with good play.

  • In reply to DaveP:

    I think we are on the same page. I'm not saying it's not impossible, but too many seem to leaning to heavily on our core four and Hendricks. plus, we will likely have a cpl of rookies contributing significant innings from the BP.

    I'm excited and optimistic. I just think it's 2016 before we can really make a push. Even then, we'll be leaning heavily on 3+ rookies with Russell, Almora, Schwarber, etc...

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    I think if the Cubs compete for the Wild Card until the end that would be a very good step...if EVERYTHING were to go right, and they actually made the post season it would be a giant leap forward, however that's highly unlikely.

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    You and I have bantered back and forth about their playoff chances for 2015 recently. Now you're saying that them making the playoffs are "highly unlikely"? why the sudden change?

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Huh? I'm not sure what you are talking about but I have consistently said that I expect them to be in the hunt for a wild card next year (not necessarily get it) and to make the playoffs the following season. I think that is a pretty aggressive timeline, and it's what I've said throughout.

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    In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    While they didn't make the Playoffs, Things were different in 1971, The Dodgers had Bill Buckner, Steve Garvey, Bobby Valentine all come up about the same time. They also brought up Ron Cey that year. They finished 89 - 73.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    By midseason there might be 5 - 6 rookies if you include Alcantara.

    Bryant, Baez, Soler, Alcantra, Russell, and Almora as just position players.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    I don't think we have to make post season next year to be a successful season. I would be happy with knocking on door with 4-5 rookies in the line up.

  • Correct me if I'm wrong, but if a NL team (like the Phillies) would put a player on waivers (like Hammels) today, the Rox would have first right of claim/refusal of that player over the Cubs because the Cubs beat them yesterday??

  • In reply to Moonlight:

    If Colorado has a worse record than the Cubs, if both claim the player, Colorado would be awarded the player.

    The Phillies could then withdraw Hammels if they could not come to a satisfactory deal with Colorado. And if they put him on waivers a second time, and the same thing happened, Hammels would be awarded to Colorado.

  • In reply to Moonlight:

    I think all NL clubs have firs dibs (priority of w/l record worst to first) and then AL clubs.

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    Mauricio, can you see Bonifacio being brought back?

  • Don't bring back any player we let go.

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    Obviously, I'm bias but Addison Russell is easily the crown jewel of this year's transactions.

    And McKinney is no slouch either.

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    In reply to Giffmo:

    Russell or Cespedes depending on what is more valuable. Personally, I agree with you that Russell was the biggest "get" of the trade deadline, even more than Price considering what he went for.

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    In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Cespedes is exciting to watch for sure, and the power is legit, but he finished last year with an OBP under 300 and isn't far off this year.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    I remember last winter being ridiculed for saying that Epstoyer would get a top 25 prospect for Shark. I was thinking pitcher, but still...

    I'm a big fan of McKinney. I think he is going to fly up prospect list next year. The only thing hurting him now is we moved him to corner OF. If he can stick in CF, he has huge upside. But he's never going to push Almora off CF defensively. So unless Albert busts, he's a corner OF or trade bait...

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    I am certain I questioned your prediction (hopefully didn't ridicule you!), as I thought there was no way Shark would get it back to a level with that much value.

    It turns out we both were somewhat right -- you were definitely correct in top 25 prospect and, at least as of yesterday, Shark wouldn't have brought a top 25 prospect based on what the Rays got for Price.

  • In reply to springs:

    Who does that make look smart? The 3-headed Monster in the FO outsmarted everyone else by trading early and getting the max. I think they based it on talk by GM's about what it would take to get Price or Lester.

  • In reply to Quasimodo:

    That's exactly it. Sometimes, perception is more powerful than reality. Or, "timing is everything" if you prefer. lol

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    Jewel... yes. But Joel is 'right.' Cespedes is in the bigs. Russell is still in low A.

    Unless you meant Cubs transactions alone.

  • In reply to MoneyBoy:

    Russell is in AA not low A.

  • In reply to John57:

    ...and with Valaika getting the call, if Baez moves to 2B full time, I would not be surprised at all if Russell gets a promotion to AAA at some point (if he keeps hitting). For the same reason that I said Soler would get promoted (before he did), it would be a great experience for Russell to go through the stretch run and the playoffs with his future teammates, i.e. Bryant, Baez, Soler

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    I really think the major thing the Cubs received in all these deals was space on the 40-man roster. Trading Shark-Hammel yielded 2 spots. Trading Barney Yielded 1 spot. Aquiring Doubront may well cost us a spot since a PTBNL is not supposed to be on the 40-man roster (though I think that rule is "at the time of acquisition" rather than "at time of trade" so we will see). Russell-Bobapio (I won't ever be able to see that name without thinking of that spelling again) yielded 2 spots. By my caculation that gives the Cubs the ability to "protect" up to 4 more people. For the rest of the year I foresee the Cubs aggressively shopping Schierholz and Fujikawa, even offering to cover some of their salary) and DARE other teams to block it by claiming them on waivers. We would be, specifically ASKING for players not on the 40-man roster making it even more palatable to other teams.

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    In reply to Joel Mayer:

    And I will be genuinely shocked if Vitters or BJax are cubs next year. If they aren't released, I think they are moved for very little.

    They both REALLY need a change of scenery.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    Agreed - I see at least the spots currently being held by Vitters, BJax, Schierholtz (if not traded during theis season), Baker (although bringing him back would not hurt my feelings), and possibly Rusin being freed up over the winter.

    That alone is like 5 spots added to that we might get If/when Fujikawa is likely either traded or let go.

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    You don't gain a spot by releasing Baker. Since there is no one currently on the 40 man roster that can be next year's back up catcher, and there is no MLB ready catcher in the minors ready to take the spot (I don't think the Cubs would go with Lopez at this point), you would have to use Baker's 40 man slot for his replacement.

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    In reply to Giffmo:

    I wouldn't be surprised at all if one or both go unclaimed and we stick them at Iowa. However, they definitely have had enough chances to prove themselves.

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    In reply to Andrue Weber:

    Even if they are not claimed I think they will leave. They will be Free agents and no longer a part of the Cubs organization. In an odd twist, if they re-sign with Iowa as FA and suddenly did well and we wanted to pull them up we would have to "purchase" their contracts.

    I think they will leave even if it means playing independent leagues for a while. They know they need a change of scenery and I wish them the best.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    They really didn't gain any 40 man spots. All of the guys they traded were pending FAs or non tender candidates with the exception of Shark and Russell. And those two spots on the 40 man were filled by Straily and Doubront, so there really was no net gain going into next year.

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    In reply to mjvz:

    OK, I understand your point.

    Then look at it this way: For Barney we got a flyer on a young pitcher that I think has promise rather than just non-tendering him. For Russell and Bonifacio we got someone good enough to crack our top 15 prospects rather than nothing if we had just non-tendered them.

  • I'd like to see Schierholtz gone quickly

  • I have mixed emotions about Ruggiano & Coghlan. I liked both acquisitions when we made them. They have been very reliable and productive players the last couple months or so... I can envision them as an excellent LF platoon for 2015.

    But I remember thinking that holding onto Schierholtz at the last trade deadline was the right thing to do and thought we could count on him for avg or better production this year, even as part of a platoon. But look at how that turned out...

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    I had the same thought the other day, but I quelled my fears with the simple fact that there are two guys this time as opposed to just Schierholtz this year. Even if Coghlan reverts to his prodcution levels prior to this year, hopefully Ruggs can still hold his own or vice versa. its not like the Cubs are goign to be counting on either to be a major run producer next year the way they were counting on Schierholtz this year, so even if both go down in flames the impact will not be as significant.

  • In reply to mjvz:

    yes, I think Ideally they are 4th/5th OFr's for us. Ruggiano is an avg defender at all 3 spots, but Coghlan is pretty much limited to LF. But until Soler is entrenched in RF and Mendy in CF they have to be counted on as more. Even if we sign a FA OFr.

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    In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    I have the same concerns. I think Ruggiano is more likely to replicate this season than Coghlan. Ruggiano's numbers were really deflated in 2013 and he was likely to rebound, which he did. The main good thing about them is they are early in their arbitration years so will likely only go up to around $1M which is something that, worst case scenario, next trade deadline if they are really scuffling we will only be on the hook for about 500K. That wouldn't be the worst thing in the world.

  • I was really happy with the haul from the A's for Samardzija + Hammel. I was ecstatic with the haul after seeing what the Rays received for Price. Very wise move to shop Samardzija early. Especially since we didn't think the Red Sox would trade Lester at the time of the trade. Kudos to the FO (whether it be for luck or planning)

  • In reply to joec6108:

    After seeing what they got for Price & Lester, our FO looks like genius' for striking early. But I have expectations of them, so this doesn't really surprise me.

    All the pre-trade speculation, nobody had the A's in on Shark/Hammel. It'll be interesting to see what surprises they have for us this winter.

  • This front office puts a value on a player, and will not trade him away for less than that value. They did it for everyone they traded away. And they did it for Schierholtz, who they kept.

    I think it is a good policy, even though it didn't work in the case of Schierholtz. If you get a reputation for giving away a player for less than value, you lose leverage in the next trade. Keeping Schierholtz for an extra year was hardly a tragedy, particularly since we have no idea what offers we might have had.

  • What I haven't seen is a comparison of what we got for Shark vs. what TB got for Price. Granted Hammell makes it a bit of apples vs. oranges, but it seems to me the Cubs got a steal there relative to the Rays.

  • In reply to Gunga:

    The rays package seems real weak. It seems like they got 2013 travis wood, Alcantara, and a candlario player

  • I posted this on another thread, but reposting here because it's more recent:

    I like the trade the Cubs made for Caratini, but will miss Every Day Jimmy. He's been a rock in the BP for years, and never made a peep when he was obviously overused in 2012-13 and saw his effectiveness decrease.

    I hope there is still some gas in his tank and he becomes a huge asset for the Braves.

  • Look at the Brewers years ago,
    Fielder, JJ Hardy, Weeks, Braun, Hart
    All five of them played on the same AA team and they raked at one point for the Brewers

  • Did you forget the Billy McKinney factor?

  • I forget which player used to bite the jersey of his left shoulder... I think it might have been Matt Williams. I think that My Colt would benefit greatly from that if they could get him to do it. I feel that his only problem is his bailing out of his head. If he were to keep his head in there it might solve his problems. Also, I wonder if him getting smacked in the head is causing him to subconsciously move his head out of the way. I think some are way too harsh on him. Ask yourself this question before posting something bad about him, have you ever taken a pitch to the face and been knocked out? If you had been, would you be a little apprehensive stepping back into the batter's box? I just wish people would think sometimes before making irrational comments.

  • Two years ago we traded Maholm to the Braves; and I'm still not sure if we made a good or a not so good trade. So, I agree that it's still too early to know how well we did this year, but my first impression says that it looks promising, though!

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